The pace at which we are traveling across the central Nevadan Great Basin countryside, rolling down the tracks through the Humboldt sink, in a land described by it’s lowness, it’s disconnectedness with the surrounding physiographic provinces, it’s quality and state of being a dead end, could hardly be considered flying.
Sure, we’re moving faster than the semi trucks out on Interstate 80 as they slowly drop away, sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right. But what good it is to be moving faster than a load of DVD players I can’t say. What it means to be covering more ground than a giant spool of cable chained to a large flat-bed trailer I am unaware.
The lounge car is quiet as the sun comes and goes behind the scattered scraggy mountains between Winnemucca and Reno. People sit and sip weak coffee, kids play cards, a few of us type or read or scroll on laptops. The mix of old and new is interesting here. We are moving unbearably slow. Yet some of us are still connected through wireless modems, cell phones, and messages from the ether that can find you anywhere as long as technology connects us.
Scattered about me are a copy of Wired Magazine, a smartphone, an iPod, a wireless modem, a paper coffee cup, the laptop I’m writing on and a bag containing a few more gadgets, a new copy of an old book, a digital camera, a gift for someone special.